Fine-Grained Transclusions of Multimedia Documents in HTML
Josef Kolbitsch (Graz University of Technology, Austria)
Abstract: Transclusions are a technique for virtually including existing content into new documents by reference to the original documents rather than by copying. In principle, transclusions are used in HTML for the inclusion of entire text documents, images, movies and similar media. The HTML specification only takes transclusions of entire documents into account, though. Hence it is not possible, for instance, to include a part of an existing image into an HTML document. In this paper, fine-grained transclusion of multimedia documents on the Web are proposed, which presents a logical realisation of the concept of transclusions in HTML. The proposal makes it possible, for instance, to include sections of existing images or small portions of entire movies into HTML documents. Two different approaches to implementing the functionality presented are detailed. The first architecture is based on a transparent extension module to conventional HTTP servers, whereas the alternative design makes use of a CGI program. Both approaches are fully self-contained, reside on an HTTP server and do not require browser plug-ins or any other special software components to be installed on client computers. An amendment to the HTTP specification is not required either. A prototype implementation demonstrates the proposal for a number of document types.
Keywords: authoring systems, hypermedia, multimedia, publishing systems, transclusions, web-based applications, xanalogical structure
Categories: H.1, H.3, H.4